Parents offer input during ECU Honors College interviews
By Kathryn Kennedy
ECU News Services
Clayton resident Rhonda Jewell arrived at East Carolina University on Feb. 19 ready to level with the parents of prospective Honors College students.
“I don’t know how many miles you’ve driven,” she said. “I know you’ve spent thousands of dollars on (school) supplies. We say, ‘One day it’ll be worth it.’ Today is that day.”
Jewell and three other parents of ECU Honors College students hosted an optional forum Sunday during finalist interviews for the EC Scholars and Early Assurance programs. EC Scholars is a merit scholarship program providing $40,000 plus a $5,000 stipend toward study abroad to outstanding incoming freshmen.
Early Assurance reserves four seats in the Brody School of Medicine for outstanding incoming freshmen who are North Carolina residents.
Jewell suggested the parent panel to Honors College administrators after going through the interview and admittance process with her daughter, Jessica, in 2011.
“If we want to raise the perception of the program in the community’s eyes, we have to consider the importance and influence of the parents,” she said.
Giving an “unfiltered” look at the program was a theme this year. Student and faculty panels also offered opinions and fielded questions Monday, which was Honors College Preview Day.
“We believe it’s important to get an honest interpretation of our process here,” said Kevin Baxter, associate dean of the Honors College.
The parent panel had nothing but good news to share.
“This campus has a unique way of making your child feel like they’re at home when they’re not,” said Moore County resident Janet Caddell. Her daughter Lindsay is an Honors College freshman.
“She never felt lost, she never felt like a number. She always felt embraced.”
“These four years become magical,” said Dr. Daniel Lee, a Greenville physician whose son is a member of the Honors College. “As an EC Scholars parent, I witnessed that.”
Panel members detailed the benefits they see for students joining ECU Honors College: Challenging but creative curriculum, unique service and experiential opportunities, dedicated staff and faculty.
“It’s nice to hear it from the parents’ perspective,” said Debbie Harrison of Williamston, who noted that panel members have been through the process “with children like ours” and understand the challenges.
Greenville resident Florida Hardy also found the session helpful.
“I’m impressed by the enthusiasm of these parents,” she said.
Jewell said she hopes the panel will be reinstated as part of next year’s events. She and Baxter were both pleased by the turnout – about 45 parents attended – and level of interaction.
For more information about ECU Honors College, visit http://www.ecu.edu/honors/.
For more information about EC Scholars, visit http://www.ecu.edu/ecscholars/AboutECScholars.cfm.
For more information about the Early Assurance Program, visit http://www.ecu.edu/bsomadmissions/assurance.cfm.